COMMENT: High time we get sums right over provision of classrooms

EDITORIAL COMMENT: High time we get sums right over provision of classrooms

EDITORIAL COMMENT: High time we get sums right over provision of classrooms

First published in News

THAT we have yet another rise in the number of our children being taught in temporary classrooms is worrying and has to be, for once and for all, the absolute last increase in this problem.

As we report today, there have been 5,475 children across the county in our state schools this year having lessons in temporary buildings.

That is up more than 300 on last year and is the equivalent of about one child out of every 15.

The usual problem of a growing schools population has been put forward and that much is obvious. However, there has to be a concern about the forecasting and planning over previous years.

That school numbers were going to rise was known for some time. And let’s look forward a bit: that’s not going to change any time soon, given the number of houses set to be built over the coming decades.

We accept that building permanent classrooms is not an overnight job.

But we should be seeing these figures declining, not rising, because our education officials should be addressing this issue and looking forward.

Temporary classrooms send a terrible message to children, albeit subliminally.

How can we expect them to embrace their education, be proud of their school and feel valued if they are shunted off into a temporary building that is too hot in the summer and too hot in the winter?

The fragmentation of our education system with academies is also a concern.

Yes, the schools themselves may have greater ability to financially afford to put up new buildings, but where is the guarantee of proper centralised forecasting of population numbers, to ensure the system as a whole can cope?

It is hardly advanced maths to know we need an equation of one desk in a permanent classroom for every one pupil.

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